Criminal Courts of Justice

Foster Parent Who Raped Daughter Over ‘1,000 Times’ Jailed For 11 Years

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A man who raped his foster daughter over 1,000 times between the ages of eleven until she was eighteen, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.

56-year-old Stephen Murray was exposed to the world as the vile perpetrator of incessant abuse as his victim 24-year-old Kelly Kenny, decided to waive her right to anonymity so as to name and shame him.

Murray of, Humphreystown, Valleymount, Co Wicklow pleaded guilty to 14 charges of rape, two charges of oral rape and a charge of sexual assault on dates between February 2009 and December 2015.

The woman told gardaí that from the age of 11 to 18, she was raped between four and five times per week by the man. The calculations of 1,000 then became apparent.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott told the court that Murray was devious in keeping this a secret from his wife and that his actions resulted in gross sexual abuse and long-term mental anguish, that was evident from her victim impact statement.

He said that Murray had inflicted terror, fear and isolation and that his empathy for the girl had only emerged recently.

Murray was sentenced to seven years in prison for sexual assault. On the counts of rape, Murray was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Judge McDermott said in mitigation that the early guilty plea and his shame and remorse, and positive engagement with the probation services was instrumental.

The judge therefore suspended the final twelve months under the condition that Murray keep the peace, be of good behaviour and keep all appointments as directed by the probation services.

The victim impact statement said the woman was still uncovering the ways the abuse has affected her life and said she had been hurt “in a way that no human should”. “The abuse feels like a life sentence,” she said.

She addressed Murray directly and said he used “my small body for your sexual gratification” and she found it difficult to put into words the “excruciating pain” she experienced.

The woman said she had “feelings of confusion and shame” as she tried, a as young child, to comprehend what was happening.

I was the child and you were the adult telling me it was a secret,” she continued before she added that she felt completely alone and there was “no safe place”.

She described feeling “trapped, helpless and frightened” and said she was too scared to report the abuse because of what may happen her younger brother and sister, who were also living in the foster home.

The woman said she “cried myself to sleep” and said Murray would punish her with silence if she refused to allow him to rape her, confusing her siblings as to what had happened.

It has torn me to pieces. My teenage years were dark.” She described feeling numb and said she didn’t want to exist.

Kelly said her foster father “stole her identity” and she “felt alienated”. She found studying “immensely difficult” because of the “constant flashbacks”.

I stand in front of you as a survivor,” the woman said before she added that she missed out on a childhood and her life “turned into a living nightmare”.

The abuse brought me nothing but shame,” she said before she added that she has complete lack of self-worth and suffers from depression.

Today is when I start to live. I am determined that I will not let this define me,” the woman concluded her victim impact statement.